Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sept. 8, 2010

We missed our one chance for rain on Tuesday afternoon by less than a mile. I watched the storm blow through just south of here. My yard is full of fallen leaves and branches from the wind, but not one drop of rain fell. Everything is crunchy dry and the leaves are starting to fall already.

It's a beautiful day though.

A spider web shimmers in the late afternoon sun and dances in the breeze.

The pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) practically glows. I've seen bluebirds eat the berries, but Wikipedia points out that although some parts of the plant are highly toxic, other parts "can be used as food, medicine, or poison." Sounds like the fugu of the plant world!

I'm finding a lot of Monarch caterpillars this summer. Last year I only found two the whole season. This one is sharing its leaf with a milkweed bug.

The goldenrod is blooming now and the honeybees are taking advantage.

I'm newly allergic to hornets, so this time of year I watch my step. This insect really caught my eye, but it's a locust borer beetle (Megacyllene robiniae). The adult seen here feeds on goldenrod pollen and nectar, but the larvae eat the sapwood of black locust trees.

This black morph tiger swallowtail sailed overhead looking as big as a bat. I caught up with her on these asters. Some female tiger swallowtails are dark like this instead of the familiar yellow with black stripes because they mimic the toxic pipevine swallowtail.

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